May 4, 2013

Sagehens Outlast Whittier, Fall To CMS At SCIAC Championships

Whittier, Calif. - Pomona-Pitzer outlasted Whittier 5-4 in a match that took over four hours to complete, and then fell to top-seeded CMS 8-1 in the semifinals on the first day of the SCIAC Men's Tennis Championships, hosted by Whittier.

With the split, Pomona-Pitzer moves to 10-14 on the season, and will face Redlands tomorrow in the third-place match.

The Sagehens, seeded fifth overall in the SCIAC Championships, had to win a grueling 5-4 decision over fourth-seeded Whittier in 90-plus degree heat, in which five of the six singles matches went the full three sets. CMS, meanwhile, coasted to a 5-0 win over eighth-seeded Caltech in its quarterfinal round, and was able to rest up for the semifinals.

With the score against Whittier tied 4-4, senior Frankie Allinson (McGregor, Texas) prevailed 7-5 in the third to provide the clinching point and get the Sagehens through to the semifinals in dramatic fashion. Allinson broke for a 5-4 lead, was unable to serve it out the first time, but broke back again and then took advantage of his second chance on his serve to capture the big win.

Allinson and fellow senior Max Sabel (Sun Valley, Idaho) also provided the swing point in doubles to give the Sagehens a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. Sabel rallied from behind to get a pivotal three-set win at No. 1 singles to give the Sagehens a 4-1 lead, after junior Chris Wiechert (Eugene, Ore.) also took a two-set win at No. 2 singles after rallying from down 5-2 in the first set to win a tiebreaker.

Whittier, though, won the next three singles decisions in three set to pull even at 4-4 and set up the dramatic finish from Allinson, who came through to provide the narrow margin of victory.

Sabel and Allinson then provided the lone point for the Sagehens against top-ranked CMS, winning at No. 1 doubles. Sophomores Connor Sutton (Overland Park, Kan.) and Connor Hudson (Golden, Colo.) almost made it two wins, as they battled to an even 7-7 at No. 2 doubles before falling 9-7, and Hudson was forced to be pulled from the singles line-up with a minor injury after his doubles match was complete.

Allison (7-5 in the first) and Wiechert (tiebreaker in the first) both provided strong battles in singles before coming up short, but the better-rested and top-ranked Stags proved to be too much to overcome as they swept all six singles lines for the 8-1 win.

Pomona-Pitzer fell at Redlands in the regular season 7-2, with Wiechert providing the lone singles win for the Sagehens.